Scouts Find New Challenges at Philmont Scout Ranch
Each year, the Atlanta Area Council sponsors high adventure treks through the support of Scoutreach in an effort to give every youth a full Scouting experience. This summer, two crews of Scouts and Leaders traveled to Philmont Scout Ranch where they completed a twelve-day hike in the mountains of northern New Mexico.
Philmont is truly a ‘high adventure’ experience. With daily elevation changes in the thousands of feet, 30 to 50 pound packs, and unpredictable weather, the challenge is physically demanding and requires great stamina. But being physically strong is only half the battle – a Scout must also be mentally awake. High adventure treks are meant to challenge a Scout’s body and mind. For several Scouts, the flight to New Mexico was their first time on a plane - for some it was their first time leaving the state of Georgia. That distance and separation from home combined with exhaustion can be a stressful experience that tests a Scout’s emotional and mental discipline.
In the months leading up to their departure, both crews trained relentlessly for their 70+ mile treks. Many weekends were spent hiking 5, 7, 10-mile trails at Stone Mountain and Arabia Mountain with loaded backpacks to simulate the experience. That time together proved crucial to the Scouts’ success on the trail in New Mexico. A bond had formed and only strengthened over the twelve days. When one Scout struggled, another was there to pick them up and share the weight.
As difficult as Philmont can be, the challenge is well worth it. Along the way, Scouts took part in activities like horseback riding, blacksmithing, railroading, and black powder shooting; unique experiences they might not have otherwise had the opportunity to enjoy. They summited Baldy Mountain, Philmont’s highest peak at 12,441 feet, and saw beautiful vistas of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico.
See the Scouts on the trail!
Their experiences would not have been possible without Scoutreach and the efforts of its generous supporters to ensure every child has the opportunity to experience everything that Scouting has to offer. If your child is interested in joining one of our two high adventure treks next summer, please visit AtlantaBSA.org/HighAdventureTrek to learn more. The application period for 2024 opens soon! If you would like to support Scoutreach, please follow the donation button below.